The U.S. Department of Labor recently added the Chinese Railroad Workers to its Hall of Honor. The Chinese Railroad Workers are one of a few pioneers that do not have a significant monument that pays tribute to their work and lives lost while working in the harsh Sierra’s mountain ranges. In Fall 2015, our goal is to install the new Monument in time to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the first group of Chinese Railroad Workers hired for this vast historic East West connection.
Under the Chinese Historical Society of America, the Chinese Railroad Monument Memorial Project was created under CHSA. 501 (C) infrastructure. Website designed, Executive and volunteer committees created.
Artist search and national outreach begins.
18 artist applicants received – standing by
Presentations and Fundraisers continue to raise 50 % of the goal target
Fundraiser – National Asian Heritage Month
150-year celebration of the first Chinese railroad workers hired
The Asian Pacific American Public Affairs host month long fundraiser
Opening gala – California Railroad History Museum – Sacramento, California
Closing gala – Paying Tribute to Chinese railroad workers descendants in entertainment – Celebrity Actress Nancy Kwan honored.
Far East Cafe (founded by former Chinese railroad worker) – San Francisco, California
Combined cities efforts raised $100,000 net profit – ticket sales, sponsorships, and pledges
Special 3 member’s Professional Artist Selection Committee formed:
Jay Xu – Executive Director of San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, Committee Chair
Abby Chen – Curator and Deputy Director of the Chinese Cultural Center Foundation
Laura Boles Faw – Artist and Visiting Faculty at San Francisco Art Institute
50% of the $400,000 construction budget raised through fundraisers and pledges
Applying Artist Public Exhibit
Two artists will be selected to compete for the final contract to build the final Monument. One will be selected by the people of the Community. Another by the Professional Artist Selection Committee.
Hilton Hotel – Financial district – public voting kickoff
18-artist applicant exhibit – one day at the Hilton Hotel
One-week public display at the Chinese Historical Society of America
Simultaneous online display for national voting
People’s choice artist selection
Five semi-finalist artists were chosen by the public. Votes were counted by the Executive Committee.
At the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the special three member’s Professional Artist Selection Committee privately deliberated on the entire 18 artists, including the people’s choice selection. They additional selected three more artists to compete as the professional Artist selection choice. The people’s and professional choices were notified in order of preference, to reconfirm their interest in the project.
Arranged by the retired Mayor and Councilman of Auburn, CA, Michael Holmes. A successful meeting with the Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery and the City Attorney was made to close the deal for Placer County sponsor the maintenance of the new monument. Endowment fund to be created. Deal Approved.
Historic Train / Bus trip to the Sierras
Both semi finalists are required to attend a historic narrated train / bus tour from Emeryville to the California Railroad Museum, the Monument site at Gold Run, Donnor Lake, Reno, NV.
Press conference to be held in Sacramento to present the $4,000 stipend awarded to both finalists used to create a three-to-four-feet clay version monument sample of each artist’s vision. General public are welcome to join by advance ticket purchase.
All documentation and permits issued for construction completed. Concrete Base Design and drawings submitted to CalTrans for approval. Bids go out to local Contractors to build the pedestal. Construction to commence, and to be finished before winter.
Who will go the Sierras?
Asian Art Museum – San Francisco Civic Center – Final public voting kickoff – TBA. Two finalists will exhibit their mockup samples – Location to be announced, simultaneous online display for national voting.
Fundraising continues. Artist begins to create the full size monument for the Sierra rest stop.
Statue bronzing process bids go out to the Foundries
Transportation & Installations companies bids go out
Final installation of the monument and donor wall plaques installed
Official Unveiling Ceremony
National Asian Heritage Month – Ceremony for the unveiling of the monument
150 years after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad at the GOLD RUN, California
Located at a rest stop off of Interstate 80, at Dutch Flats, near Gold Run, the Placer County Historical Society placed a marker where the Chinese workers first started working on the Transcontinental Railroad. With the full support of the PCHS and CALTRANS, our new monument will replace the large marker rock that the organization placed in 2009.
Caltrans has offered its support for the project and we are coordinating together to ensure the monument is constructed and installed properly:
The project would not be possible without our friends from the Placer County Historical Society. Pictured below, from right to left:
- Bill George, Writer
- Michael Otten, President of the Historic Society
- George Loy, Historian
- James Williamson, CalTrans
- Susan & Ed Chandler, Landscape Architects